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Most Fortune 100 Career Sites Fail to Meet Accessibility Standards

October 01, 2019

Dive Brief:

  • Career sites for 89 Fortune 100 companies failed at least one of the six standards outlined by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), a Phenom People study found. The talent experience management firm said that companies are preventing one billion people with visual, speech, auditory, cognitive, mobility and neurological impairments from searching sites and applying for jobs. Common accessibility problems involve site structure, navigation, hyperlinks, text, multimedia images and forms on career sites, said Phenom People.
  • The study found that 46 companies failed three or more standards, while only 11 met all six standards. Sixty-five companies failed to meet color contrast standards; 55 companies did not meet standards for tables; 39 failed the alternative text standards; and 33 did not hit the standard for resized text, the company said.
  • "Buyers of talent acquisition technology often prioritize ease of use and the look and feel of the product to create better user experiences," Ben Eubanks, principal analyst at Lighthouse Research & Advisory, said in a media release. "However, failing to meet critical accessibility standards creates a troubling problem: individuals with disabilities cannot navigate, find jobs, or apply on career sites. Research shows there is a higher rate of unemployment among them than the general population. This means employers are missing out on otherwise qualified talent at a time with critically low levels of unemployment."

Dive Insight:

Employers that overlook accessibility guidelines or standards on their sites increase their risk for liability. Phenom People cited data from the law firm Seyfarth Shaw, which noted that website accessibility lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act rose by 177% from 2017 to 2018. The number of legal proceedings from the same data jumped from 815 to 2,258. With such stark increases in lawsuits and current talent shortages, employers may want to review their career sites and check the WCAG to see if these sites meet its standards.

With much job hunting occurring online, career sites that aren't fully accessible make attracting candidates with disabilities difficult. In fact, companies are failing to hire people with disabilities and prioritize them in their talent strategies, according to research by the National Organization on Disability. The organization's 2019 Disability Employment Tracker showed that, despite the talent shortage in an employee-driven labor market, employers still aren't linking up with the 20 million people with disabilities who are looking to get hired. Having a career site that is totally accessible could change that result.

Source: HR Dive